Where new developments in European tourism are concerned, the significant and steady development of the Balkans as a destination for vacations and travel is a standout amongst the top trends in recent years.

Between the years of 2013 and 2016, there have been six nations where evenings spent by foreigners ascended by a rate of more than 10 percent every year: aside from Iceland, they are exclusively Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Romania). The main country in the region which seems to be left out of the boom is  Bulgaria, regardless of whether that circumstance is changing.

Moving from the national level to the internal dynamics of particular states, Eurostat data uncover, in addition to other things, the particularly adjusted character of the development of tourism in Romania. While in different nations of the locale visits are moved in single territories, touristic development in Romania achieves a wide assortment of districts in the nation, from Transylvania to Bucharest, down to the Black Sea coast. Besides, Romania’s developing number of guests originates from a diverse range of countries: from Spain, Great Britain, Ukraine, and Turkey, to give some examples. In Europe, just Portugal has been experiencing such a sustained and globally diffuse growth in inbound tourism. Regarding the other Balkan countries, foreign tourism in Greece, Croatia, and Montenegro has developed at slower rates in recent years, however certain regions in these countries have still experienced enormous development. This is the situation with Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the most Eastern region of Greece. Among every one of the regions in Europe, it is here that foreign tourism has grown the most significantly in recent years: from 2013 evenings spent on average have risen 33 percent year on year. This development is mostly because of the increasing influx of tourists from Bulgaria and Romania (750,000 more nights spent in 2014 than in 2012), enjoying above all the nearby Aegean coast.

The Balkans’ most popular country is Croatia, which welcomed 12.7 million guests in 2015 (Bulgaria sees the second-most, with 7.1 million). This year CNN suggested avoiding its most well-known destination, Dubrovnik, altogether. A year ago, the UK’s Telegraph claimed the Unesco heritage city on the Adriatic had been “ruined.” The reason is cruise ships.

The city of 42,000 sees almost a million guests every year, 80 percent of which come for a couple of hours from cruise ships and pour onto Dubrovnik’s cobbled streets at numbers of more than 10,000 a day. The circumstance recently provoked Unesco’s director Mechtild Rössler to indicate this overcrowding could threaten the city’s heritage status. In the meantime, the Croatia Traveler blog posts cruise schedules savvy travelers can avoid the majority. Another alternative is skipping Dubrovnik totally.


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